Sources within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reported to local media that a large portion of the American backed militia are on a “security alert” in the vicinity of Khirbet Al-Asheq village in order to secure roads south of the former U.S./SDF base so that American forces can withdraw from the former U.S. base at Lafarge Cement Plant.
in 2019, after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Northern Syria, American aircraft dropped bombs on the munitions depot of the large cement factory turned military base, Lafarge, in order to deny use of those munitions to Turkish forces. Since then, little American troop presence has been reported, except for the occasional rumors of SOF and military advisers.
However, local media in the last 24 hours reported large movements of U.S. troops near the Lafarge base and the former Syrian Army 17th Division base north of Raqqa, Syria. This troop reshuffling, called redeployment by the sources, could indicate that American troops are establishing positions to maintain peace in their held positions, or that they are withdrawing outside of President Erdogan’s established war aims. SDF Spokesperson for the Northern Democratic Brigade, Mahmoud Habib, told local media: “At the beginning of May, US military delegations visited the cities of Kobani, Raqqa, and Tabqa and held several meetings with SDF military councils. The meetings dealt with US policy towards Syria, including redeployment to areas they previously withdrew from.”
The Turkish President announced last week that Turkish forces will redeploy to create a 30km buffer zone south of the Turkish border and to rid Tal Rifaat and Manjib of terrorists. He also said the operation could come “at any time.”
This report of American reinforcement/withdrawal coincides with reports of Russian reinforcements. On Saturday locals saw six Russian helicopters surveying the Turkish-Syrian border and confirmed that the Syrian regime and Russia have both reinforced their positions in Hasakeh and Qamishli.